Genre: YA


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Entertaining but not Memorable: Field Notes in Love by Jennifer E. Smith

Posted by 1 Comment

Entertaining but not Memorable: Field Notes in Love by Jennifer E. Smith
Field Notes on Love
Jennifer E. Smith
Genre: Contemporary, Travel, YA
Publication date: March 5th, 2019
by Delacorte Press

GoodreadsPurchase
Having just been dumped by his girlfriend, British-born Hugo is still determined to take his last-hurrah-before-college train trip across the United States. One snag: the companion ticket is already booked under the name of his ex, Margaret Campbell. Nontransferable, no exceptions.

Enter the new Margaret C. (Mae for short), an aspiring filmmaker with big dreams. After finding Hugo's spare ticket offer online, she's convinced it's the perfect opportunity to expand her horizons.

When the two meet, the attraction is undeniable, and both find more than they bargained for. As Mae pushes Hugo to explore his dreams for his future, he'll encourage her to channel a new, vulnerable side of her art. But when life off the train threatens the bubble they've created for themselves, will they manage to keep their love on track?
-A copy was provided by Delacorte Press for review-

Field Notes on Love is exactly what you would expect. It’s cute. It’s fluffy. It’s a quick read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is the kind of book you seek out on a cold, winter day when you need some good vibes and miss the summer sun.

Hugo just broke up with his long-time girlfriend and is stuck with a non-transferable trip to the US of A. He needs to find someone with the exact same name as his ex so he can go on a trip of a lifetime and get away from his big, bustling family for the first time. So he does what anyone would do, he puts an ad on the internet. YAY.

Mae is an aspiring filmmaker. Unfortunately she didn’t get into the program of her dreams so she has a lot to prove to herself and the world about her filmmaking skills. When she sees Hugo’s ad for a trip companion, she decides she needs to get out of her comfort zone and embark on an adventure.

When the two meet, they hit off even though it is a bit of an awkward situation. As they travel across the country, they meet lots of new people and in turn learn more about what it is they want in the long run.

I think, in situations like these, when the premise is unoriginal and tropes are abundant, the way a book stands out is on the basis of the kind of relationships the characters have with the people around them. The secondary characters infuse a new life to the tropes and help make the book distinct.

In the case of Field Notes On Love, Mae’s relationship with her grandmother and Hugo’s relationship with his siblings really help make the book unique and all the more delightful. While these characters don’t have as much page time, they do have a significant presence in the thoughts of the main characters and their lives in general so we get a really good feel for them. THEY ARE ALL WONDERFUL and supportive and I wish I could hang out with them.

Overall, Field Notes for Love is an entertaining read if not a particularly memorable one. I’d definitely recommend it with a nice cup of hot cocoa on a cold, winter day (or a cold, rainy day.)

3.5 Stars
3.5 Hot Espressos

Breathes Life Into a Genre I Thought I Was Done With: We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Breathes Life Into a Genre I Thought I Was Done With: We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Posted by on 02/28/2019 • 0 Comments

Currently, I am staring at a blank document trying to figure out how words work because I am not entirely sure how to even begin to describe We Set the Dark on Fire? When I first started hearing about the book, I thought it was a fantasy but then my friend, Shannon said it was more dystopia so I really didn’t know what genre I was diving into. I did go in expecting some badass girls and I GOT SOME BADASS GIRLS.

Upon finishing, I think I can say that while this book isn’t like a futuristic sci-fic novel, labelling it dystopia is not wholly inaccurate. WHICH, if you like me stopped reading dystopia half a decade ago because it was all bland, I promise We Set the Dark…

Read It So You Can Read the Sequel: Dark of the West by Joanna Hathaway

Read It So You Can Read the Sequel: Dark of the West by Joanna Hathaway

Posted by on 02/13/2019 • 2 Comments

I think it was the comp to The Winner’s Curse that drew me to Dark of the West (which is funny because I still haven’t read that series) but I dove into this book with not many expectations. The only one I remember having was that Dark of the West was a fantasy but it became abundantly clear very early on that it was not. The main reason I bring this up is because it very much felt like false advertising. There are no fantastical elements to this book. In fact, calling it a historical novel would be way more accurate since it seems to draw inspiration from the World Wars of the early 20th century. A lot of the technology we have exists in this world too: planes,…

Entertaining: Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

Entertaining: Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

Posted by on 02/07/2019 • 0 Comments

I really enjoyed Tricia Levenseller’s Daughter of the Pirate King duology and I had no doubt that I would at least like Warrior of the Wild. And I did! But overall Warrior of the Wild doesn’t hold a candle to the Daughter of the Pirate King books. It’s a fast, entertaining read but it is the kind of book that if you looked at it too closely, it kind of just falls apart. Everything about the plot line almost feels too easy. I love a fast paced book but this might have just been a LITTLE too fast.

Warrior of the Wild follows a privileged village leader’s daughter as she is exiled from her village and has to embark on a quest that involves killing an oppressive, abusive God…

Incredibly Hilarious and Deeply Sad: The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried

Incredibly Hilarious and Deeply Sad: The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried

Posted by on 02/05/2019 • 1 Comment

So I was going to open this review on a whole tangent about how long I’ve been reading Shaun David Hutchinson but when I went onto Goodreads, I realized I haven’t even READ ALL OF HIS BOOKS because I am a terrible person. But, in some ways, opening an SDH book is so familiar and comfortable even though, including The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried, I’ve read all of three books by Shaun David Hutchinson.

The Past and Other Things That Should Say Buried is more reminiscent of some of Hutchinson’s earlier stuff in that it is more lighthearted but that’s not saying much when even at his most light hearted, Hutchinson never fails to punch you in the feels. The best way to really describe…

Old School YA PNR Vibes: Slayer by Kiersten White

Old School YA PNR Vibes: Slayer by Kiersten White

Posted by on 01/31/2019 • 1 Comment

While I’d heard a couple of things about Slayer, they were mostly about Buffy and how the book was set in the same world as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I’ve seen less than half an episode of the show so I immediately checked out and assumed it would not appeal to me as someone who does not care about the show. Then I read the synopsis. I got old-school YA feels from the blurb and I’ve been craving old school YA for ages so I was immediately drawn in.

I think the best way to sum up my feelings about Slayer is that the first half was a solid 3 stars and the second half was a solid 4 stars. The first half is sort of slow and takes a…

Mediocre: Immoral Code by Lillian Clark

Mediocre: Immoral Code by Lillian Clark

Posted by on 01/30/2019 • 0 Comments

I love a good heist book and 2019 truly seems to be the year of heist books but unfortunately, Immoral Code was not everything I wanted it to be. It’s the kind of book that has good bones but ultimately, neither the writing style nor the pacing worked for me.

The entire time I was reading the book, the characters voices felt sort of inauthentic? But upon reflection I don’t think the fact that they were all self-aware makes them inauthentic, I am an extremely self-aware human being, but I think self-awareness doesn’t always translate as well in writing. This book is written in a very free, stream-of-consciousness style and yes, human beings constantly think that way but also, I don’t want to hear every single thought an MC…

A Gender-Swapped Mean Girls: The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

A Gender-Swapped Mean Girls: The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

Posted by on 01/24/2019 • 0 Comments

I don’t think this book has actually been pitched this way but when I finished the book, I couldn’t help but think of Mean Girls. The Field Guide to a North American Teenager, while not a perfect fit, read to me, like a gender-swapped Mean Girls.

Norris Kaplan is the new kid in town. Although he feels incredibly out of place, he does somehow immediately capture the attention of several people who are taken in by his snark. He writes in his journal, trying to categorize and group every individual and HS trope-y student he comes across in an attempt to other them and to distance himself. Somehow though, he finds himself mingling with the very cheerleaders and the jocks he loves to snark about. Combined with a new, cute love interest…